Volunteer – Become a Barking Attendant!

If it takes a village to raise a child, then it takes an army to care for a bunch of dogs!
If you love dogs and want to feel great knowing you are helping to save lives, volunteer with us.

There are all kinds of ways to get involved at The Barking Lot. Check out how you can lend a hand by reading the descriptions below. If you’re looking for a true sense of reward and able to devote some time, please click on the appropriate form based on your interest, skill and time available. If you think you can help but don’t see a specific area that applies to you, email us!

Foster Parents

Foster parents are the determining factor in our ability to save lives.  Our recruits need “Temporary Barking” while we find them “Permanent Barking.” To apply to become a foster parent, visit our Foster A Dog page and fill out the Foster Application.

General Barking Attendants

We have a need for virtually every kind of volunteer! To become a Barking Attendant, fill out the Barking Attendant Application. For more information on the volunteering, check out some of the opportunities below.

Valet Barkers are responsible for taking our recruits on various adventures for socialization and exercise such as walks, hikes, runs, trips to the beach, to the dog park and to get baths. This requires some travel as you will need to pick up pooch, take to park (or trail, or beach) and then return pooch to his/her home base. Length of each excursion is dependent on the Valet Barker’s availability, but typically each outing will take between 1-3 hours.

Transporters – TBL rescues pups from all over Southern California and we must arrange travel for each pooch in order to get them to our facility. To do this, we coordinate transportation by either arranging “legs” with several transporters (for longer treks) or having one person drive round trip. Transporting requires a valid driver’s license and a chunk of time as it can take anywhere from 1-6 hours depending on the distance and traffic congestion. Transporting is very rewarding as you get to be the first contact the new “Temporary Barker” has on his/her journey to a “Permanent Barking” space!

Event Barkers – The Barking Lot is nothing if not social! We host many events during the course of the year for a variety of reasons: fundraising, adoption drives, raise awareness, and some for no other reason than to have fun. We need people to help at these events and responsibilities can range from selling raffle tickets, handling dogs, screening applications, manning the booth, etc. Events are throughout the year and typically require anywhere from 3-6 hours of your time.

Data Entry – For those of you who may be allergic to fur, fear not, we even have tasks that don’t involve dogs! TBL has a number of administrative tasks to attend to. One vital one is data entry. We need volunteers who are able to input information into our database. This can be done from any location (i.e. your home, office, local coffee shop) as our database can be accessed remotely.

Home Checkers – Home Checkers are responsible for surveying a potential adopter’s home to determine the suitability for a given pooch. We supply our home check volunteer with the guidelines to execute a home check. Home checks take place at various locations depending on the potential adopter’s whereabouts and require travel to that location. Each home check takes approximately 20-30 minutes.

Barking Space Attendants – One of our most important volunteer roles – Keeping the facility clean and sanitized for our pups. In addition to cleaning kennels, these volunteers will help with feeding, bathing, laundry, and the like. We wouldn’t be able to operate without these attendants!

Puppy Duty – For those who can’t get enough puppy love, this is the role for you! We need volunteers who focus entirely on the care of our young puppies. This includes feeding, bathing, cleaning and sanitizing their “barking spaces.” Of course, this role also requires showering tons of affection on our little furballs.

Writers – From newsletter articles, press releases, puppy profiles, and social media content, we can always use the talents of another good writer.

Barking Attendant Application

Please note, we do support volunteers who need to meet community service requirements of 25 hours or more, and will consider other community service requirements on a case-by-case basis.
Volunteers need to be at least 18 years old.

Volunteers first attend a 1/2 hour familiarization orientation at our facility in El Cajon followed by 3 hours of initial training.  Shortly after the orientation day, we will schedule a 3 hour “shadow shift” in which new volunteers work alongside a seasoned volunteer. After this, new volunteers are free to come volunteer as their schedule permits. We encourage volunteers to commit to at least 6 hours monthly for a minimum of 4 months.


Breaking News!

Do blondes really have more fun? We’re not sure. But we have it on good authority, that they just are more fun by nature. At least that’s what today’s #MissionMonday pairing has led us to believe. That’s because it’s hard not to have a good time when you’re in the company of either Aynsley, our 4-year-old, lovable lab mix, or Mission Brewery's memorable Mission Blonde Ale. Both are ever-popular by those in the know for a few similar reasons. First, both are refreshingly non-overbearing. Mission Blonde features just hints of a fruity sweetness cloaked in a delicate dryness, & Aynsley’s shy at first, so unlike some of her breed, she’s not likely to knock you over before you know what hit you. Both are well-balanced (Ansyley, energy-wise & Mission blonde, taste-wise), and are longtime fan favorites: Mission Blonde has been winning awards since 2008, while volunteers have been singing Aynsley’s praises since she arrived at TBL last year. It’s true: neither Mission Blonde nor Aynsley are exactly beach blondes, but they ARE guaranteed to brighten your day. Go ahead, we dare you: just try to spend a little time hanging with Anysley or sippin’ a Mission Blonde and not ending up with a smile plastered on your face. Need a little more fun in your life? Learn a little more about our two favorite blondes. Aynsley’s profile is at, & Mission Blonde Ale is available daily down at Mission Brewery. PS. Like and show this post at Mission Brewery today for a $1 off a pint (TODAY ONLY) #BlondesForTheWin #AdoptAynsley Dogs on Tap ...

View on Facebook
Like us on Facebook for the latest news from The Barking Lot!

Barking Zone

  Like us on Facebook
  Follow us on Twitter
  Follow us on Instagram
  Watch us on YouTube
  Follow us on Pinterest
  Subscribe to our Blog
  Send us an email

The Barking Blog